Blackpool will have the delight of welcoming none other than the Hollywood celebrity Tim Burton to their town next month, as the legendary film director has been signed up to turn on the town’s renowned illuminations this year. The lights will be switched on from 4th September and visitors can catch them right through into November. Besides Burton’s appearance, the grand opening concert will include music from The Vamps with other major pop stars such as Professor Green, Lawson and Toploader lined up for the star-studded show.

Coup for Blackpool

The securing of Burton’s appearance seems to have been greeted with some delight by the Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, Gillian Campbell.

The Councillor claimed that Burton “is quite a big fan and loves Blackpool”. She added that everyone was “delighted that he has agreed to switch the illuminations on” as the town celebrates the “biggest night of Blackpool’s year.”

Formidable film CV

Fifty-six-year-old Burton has been the driving force behind some of the most popular, if often slightly eccentric, film offerings in recent cinematic times. The American director, producer and animator has often hooked up with Johnny Depp to create some of his more memorable works, including Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood and Sleepy Hollow. A back catalogue of such major films as Batman, Planet of the Apes and Alice in Wonderland have demonstrated his undoubted abilities on the film set, attracting a global audience of millions to view his work.

Recent connection to the town

Burton has been working on an adaptation of Ransom Riggs’ fantasy work “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”, which is due for release in March next year. With stars of the calibre of Bond girl Eva Green and the ever-popular Samuel L. Jackson featuring, the film seems likely to continue the director’s run of successes.

Some of the scenes for the film have recently been filmed in Blackpool, no doubt enhancing his connection to the town and what it has to offer.

Stars of the past

Blackpool’s “big turn-on” often attracts a major celebrity on the opening night to give that extra touch of glitz and glamour to the occasion. Top comedian Peter Kay performed the duties last year, chat show host Jonathan Ross was the star in 2013 and back in 2010 it was popstar Robbie Williams who wowed the crowds.

Way back in 1971, Blackpool utilised the talents of the television cast for the comedy show “Dad’s Army”.

When you can catch the lights

The town’s seafront will be lit up by their famous lights from 4th September right through to mid- November, a key attraction designed to pull in the locals and tourists to Lancashire in North-West England. Typically the lights shine brightly on each night up to 10:30pm with later finishing times at the weekends. But for the grand opening night they are expected to remain on from 9:15pm until 2am the following morning, as sightseers are expected to flock to the seaside in their thousands for the annual event.

Opening weekend of fun

Besides the major show on the opening night, there will be follow up shows over the first weekend, as Blackpool seeks to guarantee that the year’s illuminations get off to the best start possible. Fun House’s Pat Sharp will introduce the fun and entertainment for the Saturday show.